You are here:  Home  >  Money Matters  >  Current Article

Clearing Your Plate for the New Year

By   /  December 21, 2015  /  2 Comments

It’s that time of year when we think about what’s been going well, and give thanks for that, and then what we could do to make the new year even better. These are some good tips that we could all benefit from.

    Print       Email

Things that you have, but aren’t using, suck up resources.

Bills Tractor. Photo by Kathy VothEquipment sitting in the bone yard requires you to mow around it if you don’t want a thistle patch. And sitting there, it occupies space on your balance sheet that could be converted to something productive.

An unread book sitting on your bookshelf provides a great excuse for procrastination.

Boxes that you no longer use take up space on the shelf, requiring you to work around them.

Policies that you don’t enforce erode your authority as an employer.

Categories in your chart of accounts that you no longer use encourage misallocation of spending.

Items on a to-do list that you don’t intend to complete creates a soul-sucking cognitive dissonance.

Resentment and bitterness occupy mental space that would be better used on love and kindness.

Cleaning up and clearing out frees up mental, physical, and financial energy. It allows you to focus on the things that move your farm, business, and life in the direction you want to go.

What can you clean up and clear out to free up your energy to more productive and rewarding uses?


Editors’ Note: Here’s another tip for making 2016 an even better year.  Think about attending one of Chris’ workshops on managing your employees. Here’s the next one coming up:
Be a Better Boss: How to Manage and Motivate Your Farm Team

Grayslake, Illinois | Wednesday, February 17 10 am -3 pm, hosted by Liberty Prairie Foundation. Click on over here to learn more.
Check out Chris’ website for info on other workshops and presentations he offers.

    Print       Email

About the author

Chris Blanchard provides consulting and education for farming, food, and business through Purple Pitchfork. As the owner and operator of Rock Spring Farm since 1999, Chris raised twenty acres of vegetables, herbs, and greenhouse crops, marketed through a 200-member year-round CSA, food stores, and farmers markets. He has also managed student farms, worked as an intern, packing house manager, plant breeding assistant, and farm manager, and provided consulting for a major organic processor, in California, Wisconsin, Maine, and Washington state. His workshops, writing, and consulting throughout the country about farm business concepts, food safety, organic vegetable production, and scaling-up have gained a reputation for fresh approaches, down-to-earth information, and honesty. While Chris focuses on produce, his business experience is invaluable to anyone in agriculture. For more, visit his website, AND check out his Farmer to Farmer Podcast.


  1. Curt Gesch says:

    I agree with the sentiments expressed in your article. The picture of the old tractor, however, reminds me of my teen-age years when overgrown old cars or machinery were magnets for pheasants, rabbits, and other wildlife. So couldn’t we keep a few junkers lying about?

    • It seems to me that if you are leaving the old, overgrown machinery around as wildlife habitat, that has a purpose and you are using them! If that creates more value for you than removing them, then, by all means, keep those junkers lying about!


You might also like...

Partnerships Demonstrate That Profitable Ranching and Healthy Ecosystems Go Hand in Hand

Read More →